If you know anything about me, you know that I’m a die hard John Legend fan. His first album, Get Lifted, gave me my first “eargasm” and I was hooked on his raspy crooning and soulful love songs. His second album, Once Again, was great and the Maxine interlude is my jam. Then, Evolver happened. After Green Light and It’s Over were done playing, that albums playtime was over. He lost me with that.
Much like John Legend with his shift from an old soulful sound to one that sounded like a series of elevator songs and theatrical movie scores, content creators can totally turn off readers and consumers with their choice to change it up. It’s a risk each creator runs, especially if the content seeks to appeal to a broad audience. Still, some things can be done to avoid a mass exodus away from what you produce.
What will help? Try these things:
Survey your readers. There’s nothing worst than getting a gift that you don’t want and being expected to like it. Sometimes, it’s just better to ask people what they want. Using forms in Google Drive or Survey Monkey, you can easily do a mini focus group and find out what your readers want to know about before delivering them a load of content they don’t want. Ask pointed questions and provide a variety of options like multiple choice or text boxes to find out what they do or don’t like.
Run tests and analyze your reports. Using the native analytic tools for your website, email list, or video service or another like Google Analytics, create some fairly simple tests to see how new content types and topics perform compared to others. Do your videos get more hits than your articles? Does your blog posts about animals keep the tone of your website upbeat, but those about politics make your readers feel uncomfortable to where they don’t comment or share the content? While simple observations of how your content is being received, numbers don’t lie. See what works, what doesn’t and plan your content accordingly.
Add categories and reorganize your site. Depending on how your site or method of content delivery is structured, you may simply need to reorganize how you make it accessible to avoid having people abandon their fan card. With blogs, adding categories to your main navigation may keep people from having to dig through content they aren’t concerned about and help them to find what they want. Search boxes are helpful for that as well. For email lists, most services like AWeber, Mailchimp and Infusionsoft allow for you to segment and/or group your list, making sending very specific types of content to the people who want it a snap.
Don’t make your fans fall out of love with you. By asking what they want, seeing what they respond to and restructuring how you deliver content, you can keep people tuning in to see what you have to say.